The CHE-VERIFY Joint General Assembly 2019 took place on March 12-14, 2019 at ECMWF in Reading, UK. The 3-day event brought together partners of the two Horizon2020 funded projects CHE (CO2 Human Emissions) and VERIFY (Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions) and external advisors for discussions on CHE and VERIFY work packages, project progress and linkages between the projects. The meeting was co-organised by both projects and provided opportunities to exchange information about ongoing and future collaborations and working groups, and featured keynote lectures by external experts.


During the three days of the meeting, each project had a dedicated day, connected by an interdisciplinary “Science Day” with contributions from both projects.

The first day of the meeting focused on the CHE project. It was opened by ECMWF Director-General Florence Rabier with a Welcome address highlighting the importance of the CO2-related activities to ECMWF. This was followed by presentations by the European Commission’s Hugo Zunker and Bernard Pinty, who outlined the Vision for a CO2 Monitoring and Verification Support (MVS) Capacity within the framework of the EU’s Copernicus Programme. This was followed by a presentation of the CHE EU Project Officer Monika Kacik, providing an overview of the H2020 plans related to the CO2 MVS, including the potential follow-up project for CHE.

The sessions then focused on presenting and discussing the progress and plans of the different CHE work packages:

  • Reconciling top-down and bottom-up estimates (presented by Maarten Krol, Wageningen University and Research)

  • Library of simulations for emissions and atmospheric transport (presented by Hugo Denier van der Gon, TNO)

  • Uncertainty trade-off for fossil fuel emissions (presented by Greet Janssen-Maenhout, EC-JRC)

  • Attributing CO2 emissions from in-situ measurements (presented by Frederic Chevallier, CEA-LSCE)

  • Towards a prototype of a European anthropogenic emission monitoring system (presented by Anna Agusti-Panareda, ECMWF)

  • International Stakeholder Coordination and Liaison (presented by Richard Engelen, ECMWF)

The first day was then wrapped up by feedback provided by the chair of the External Expert Group, Peter Rayner, and the chair of the External Advisory Board, Han Dolman.

Day 2 was an open Science Day with contributions from both projects and external experts. The day started with an introduction by CHE and VERIFY coordinators Gianpaolo Balsamo and Philippe Peylin, followed by two opening talks by Oksana Tarasova (WMO/GAW) and Greet Janssen-Maenhout (JRC).

GA 2019 Fig1

Fig 1: Top panel: CHE and VERIFY coordinators Gianpaolo Balsamo (l.) and Philippe Peylin (r.) open the joint Science Day.  Bottom left: Oksana Tarasova (WMO/GAW) introduces atmospoheric observations-based tools to support climate mitigation actions.  Bottom right: Greet Janssen-Maenhout (JRC) discusses the European CO2 initiative in the international context.


Oriented towards the scientific foundations of both projects, the day was organised into five sessions on various topics with talks given by invited experts and project partners:

  • Uncertainties on the carbon cycle – satellites

  • Uncertainties on the carbon cycle – in-situ

  • Improving uncertainties associated with anthropogenic CO2 emissions

  • Other GHGs and CO2 co-emitted species

  • Ways forward

Each session provided generous room for discussion between the speakers and members of the audience. A poster session in the afternoon provided opportunities for further scientific presentations and engaged participants in fruitful discussions.


GA 2019 fig2

Fig. 2: EC project officer Erwin Goor explains the details of VERIFY project requirements.


Day 3 focused on the VERIFY project and started with an opening talk by Ana Bastos (LMU) on the impact of the 2018 European summer drought on GHG balances. This presentation was followed by an introduction to project requirements and perspectives from the European Commission by the EC project officer Erwin Goor. The coordination team (LSCE and ARTTIC) then provided an overview of the project management status. The following sessions focused on the status, highlights, progress and future activities of the VERIFY work packages:

  • GHG MRV user requirement framework (presented by Lucia Perugini, CMCC and Dirk Günther, UBA)

  • Verification methods for fossil CO2 emissions (presented by Hugo Denier van der Gon, TNO and Paul Palmer, University of Edinburgh)

  • Verification methods for terrestrial CO2 sources and sinks and carbon stocks (presented by Pete Smith, University of Aberdeen and Philippe Peylin, LSCE)

  • Verification methods for CH4 and N2O emissions (presented by Tula Aalto, FMI on behalf of Rona Thompson, NILU)

  • Input to international programmes and society (presented by Werner Kutsch, ICOS)

  • VERIFY-WP5+WP6: GHG country reporting (presented by Glen Peters, CICERO, Roxana Petrescu, VUA and Philippe Ciais, LSCE)


GA 2019 Fig3

Fig. 3: Lucia Perugini (l., CMCC) and Glen Peters (r., CICERO) explain progress made in various work packages of VERIFY.


Michael Buchwitz of IUP Bremen presented a scientific talk on ‘Anthropogenic CO2 emissions from existing and future satellites’ after the lunch break. After the WP progress presentations, Philippe Ciais and Philippe Peylin presented the data integration and data flow for 2019, followed by an open discussion on data flow and data synthesis.

The day was wrapped up by Yasjka Meijer of ESA who is part of the VERIFY Advisory Board and summed up feedback from those Advisory Board members who were unable to attend the meeting or – as in the case of Peter Rayner of University of Melbourne – remotely followed the event.

“This first CHE-VERIFY Joint General Assembly was a big success and we would like to thank all partners and especially ECMWF for the great organisation of the 3-day event. VERIFY will now focus on delivering a complete cycle of project products in 2019 for first syntheses and analyses in work packages 5 and 6, for instance through country fact sheets”, said Philippe Peylin, coordinator of VERIFY. He continued: “Together with contributions from CHE and building on important related initiatives we are well on track for a pre-operational MV system by the end of the project, that is to say in 2021.”